Myers named College Gymnastics Association’s Rookie of the Week after first collegiate meet

Freshman+Logan+Myers+competes+in+the+rings+event+during+the+meet+against+Northern+Illinois+on+Jan.+15.

Photo Courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Freshman Logan Myers competes in the rings event during the meet against Northern Illinois on Jan. 15.

By Bradley Zimmerman, Staff Writer

Illinois’ virtual meet against Northern Illinois on Jan. 15 was not only the first-ever virtual gymnastics meet in NCAA history, but also the first collegiate meet of freshman Logan Myers’ career. Myers, ranked No. 14 among 2021 college recruits, competed in four events, placing among the top three in all of them and winning one event title. His success led the College Gymnastics Association to name Myers Rookie of the Week in their first weekly accolades of the season.

Myers placed third on still rings and high bar with scores of 12.95 and 12.35, respectively, and he placed second on vault with a score of 14.20. His score of 13.50 on parallel bars edged out fellow freshman Will Hauke and senior Jordan Kovach by half a point to secure his first career event title.

Myers’ title-winning performance on parallel bars wasn’t expected. He wasn’t even in the parallel bars lineup when the meet started; for the first four rotations of the meet, it was junior Michael Fletcher, who was supposed to perform last for the Illini in the event. But after Illinois’ vault rotation, which immediately preceded the parallel bars rotation, head coach Justin Spring came over to Myers with some news.

“He told me that Fletcher’s back was hurting and that I needed to compete on P bars,” Myers said. “I was a little shocked at first and I felt a little nervous, but I had done the routine pretty consistently before that, so I decided to let go of that nervousness and be confident in my set.”

Because of the sudden nature of Myers’ substitution, he didn’t even have time to warm up on parallel bars. The two-minute touch period came and went without him laying a hand on the apparatus. But that didn’t stop him from accepting the challenge and nailing his routine.

“Right off the gate, Logan proved to me and his team that he is a competitor,” Spring said. “He wants to compete, he was focused the whole meet, he’s like, ‘Put me in. I got it.’ He had every reason to have a rough go but he crushed it. Very proud of that kid.”

While every gymnast hopes to win event titles and eventually win NCAA titles, the basic goal of every routine is simply for the performing gymnast to hit it and put up a good score for his team. That was the mindset Myers had as he stepped up to perform in that meet. Winning an event title in his first career meet and Rookie of the Week afterwards were unexpected but welcome bonuses.

As the team enters Big Ten competition this weekend, Myers hopes to continue working on his routines to improve their difficulty as well as his own consistency, which will achieve higher scores for himself and the team. Though he competed in only four events against Northern Illinois, Myers is an all-around gymnast. His collegiate debut on floor exercise and vault will likely come in the next few competitions Illinois has scheduled.

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